Artwork by Neheroth
A rather cryptic figure from the underground who’ve I’ve been following from almost the start of his journey Febris Manea shares some of his thoughts on his project and musical process that, I personally have always found fascinating as the sounds he’s able to produce draw up some strong negative emotions within me that not many other musicians can do. While, that may sound like a negative, he’s able to draw out the ugly sides of the psyche and shove it in your face with an almost impish pleasure to it all. Personally, I find his music a great way to remind yourself just how insignificant you truly are at the end of the day. Just a squirming pile of flesh ready to consume.
These were originally written back in October 2022
- How and when did Febris Manea start?
D.O – This project started somewhere around the beginning of 2018. The whole point of the project was to be a tool to help negate certain unsightly emotions and energies from intruding on my existence as they had been before as well as a sort of coping mechanism for the reality of the world we find ourselves in. This approach had some decent success, but it seems to have become something I’ve had to maintain at the risk of losing my sanity again.
- Its safe to say that the style of music you put out there is rather harsh and heavy. Is extreme metal a genre you’ve always enjoyed? If so, who are some of your favorites?
D.O – Extreme metal has been something I’ve been drawn to since I was pretty little, although my music taste is very chaotic. The intensity of it has always seemed to pull me in and now I feel I only want to listen to it if it reaches a certain ever moving threshold of extremity. There’s too many to name, but artists that have been most influential to this project would most likely be Gnaw Their Tongues, Endless Dismal Moan, Mütiilation, Xasthur, and Black Witchery.
- I always felt the different releases of Febris Manea always had a very striking visual component that stood out amongst other releases being that it is more grounded in a rather dark and twisted way. What are some things outside of music that you draw inspiration from with the visuals?
D.O – The main source of the inspiration behind the visuals tend to be various videos, films, stories, etc pertaining to the more unfortunate parts of existence as well as its overarching absurdity. Growing up when and where I did I feel as though militaristic, violent, and depraved themes are something I’ve been drawn to out of a curiosity for the more morbid and nonsensical aspects of our existence. Creating this kind of “rather dark and twisted” visual art is something I was doing long before Febris Manea and will most likely continue out of sheer unconscious desire.
- Your style of production has always been raw and visceral, but I feel became more refined in 2020 with the release of Enhanced Audial Terrorism. How would you say the recording process changed over the years? Are there aspects you try to keep from previous albums consistent with new ones?
D.O – I feel time and place is the main difference in the recording process. I started this not really knowing anything about production, mixing, mastering, etc, but as I’ve tried, and failed, I feel I’ve learned a bit more. I still never truly get the sound I want with any release, but I can at least see some improvement in certain aspects. Having always recorded in different locations the recording process, and end product, has been highly influenced by the limitations of my environment. For example recording vocals in my car has made it considerably more difficult to gauge sound and get a good performance which has always forced me to find workarounds during production. Often these constraints work in my favor as they force me to find new ways to go about recording and writing, but more often than not I feel they degrade the potential. I don’t try to keep anything consistent really, I mainly just go with how I’m feeling in that particular moment of existence.
- Thoughts on the current underground metal scene, if any?
D.O – I’d like to see, within black metal in particular, a shift towards a darker, more intense sound. I do understand that more melodic, softer, in many cases upbeat black metal is what people tend to prefer, but it feels very sterile to me. This genre drew me in due to its more foreboding nature and ability to push audial extremes, but I have a hard time finding artists that seek to create in this fashion. In addition to that I wish that the oversaturation of the genre with its ever growing number of artists that to my ears sound nearly identical would stop, but this is the nature of art in the current day.
- Your most recent release, (IN)EXISTENCE, was a step in a different direction, collaborating with a whole list of different talent. How’d this come about? Did you reach out to work with them or did they reach out to you?
- I recorded the guitars for (IN)EXISTENCE, and Akathisia, in early/mid 2020 with the intention of them being used on both Enhanced Audial Terrorism as well as a new project that never came to fruition due to faulty drummers. I used about half of the tracks to create Akathisia and the other half, including the rejected E.A.T tracks, for (IN)EXISTENCE. The problem with (IN)EXISTENCE was that I couldn’t think of what to do in regards to the vocals as the tracks sounded too melodic for my own taste. I reached out to various artists for assistance and having already worked with most in the past it came about very naturally. I didn’t give them any directions, just asked them to do what they felt and it turned out how it did.
- Continuing about that release, was it challenging writing the instrumentals for a wide range of different vocal styles? What were some of the struggles if any?
D.O – Not at all as I had already had these songs written for almost a year and a half before reaching out to anyone. I either let the artist pick, or offered the track I felt they’d fit best on. The only hard part was mixing as each artist recorded differently and as such I had a lot of experimentation to do trying to make the instrumentation consistent while having the vocals fit.
- I’m sure this is something you get a lot, but where does name Febris Manea come from?
D.O – I came up with the name during a period of time in which I worked overnights and was consistently sleep deprived. During this chaotic point of existence my living situation, in addition to the constant sleep deprivation I suffered, led to a good deal of illness and at one point almost death. While reading about the Romans and Etruscans I learned of Febris the goddess of fever and had the idea to combine her name with that of the Etruscan goddess of spirits and chaos Mania(Manea). As existence was rather chaotic during that time, as well as having been a sickly person since childhood, I felt the name fit rather well and as time passed I feel the music has become more fitting to this title.
- Willing to share any news on any upcoming releases?
D.O – I have a good deal of material I’ve been writing since the start of the year, but I’m unhappy with a lot of it so I continue trying to improve and create work more inline with my current vision. I hope to make this the most anxiety inducing, and/or unnerving release I’ve done thus far, but only time will tell if that comes to be. When it’s done it’s done and will most likely be released with little warning. I also may remix/master Through Pale Opulence due to the fact that I’ve never been happy with the way it turned out, but was always fond of what I recorded.
- Who are some of your favorite non-metal acts? Who are some that inspire your own musical approach?
D.O – My musical taste is very disordered, but I generally listen to a good deal of folk, pop, electronic, dance, religious, etc music from all over the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia, the Americas as well as a good deal of dark ambient, a favorite of mine being Die Sonne Satan, post-punk, classical, and many other genres and artists I can’t think of at the moment. Basically I’ll listen to anything that invokes a strong emotional response regardless of genre. I feel as though I pull from so many sources in terms of inspiration that it’d be hard to give a worthwhile list, but hopefully this provides at least some semblance of clarity as to where I gain influence from.
- Bandcamp and other streaming platforms are notorious for their controversy. What are your thoughts on these platforms? Have you found they helped or have been more of a nuisance?
D.O – Bandcamp serves its purpose, but other streaming platforms are more or less useless to me since I really only use Bandcamp and Youtube, with an adblocker, to stream music. I’m not aware, or can’t remember, most of the controversies, but they’re large businesses like any other seeking to maximize profit at whatever cost. Bandcamp has been helpful in expanding my audience, if you can even call it that, a little, but overall hasn’t done much of anything. Other streaming platforms do what they’re supposed to, but they’re all just tools to share my work at this point not streams of income.
Final message for fans/readers of the zine?
D.O – Every facet of our existence will continue degrading at an unprecedented pace and no matter how much we prepare we will never truly be ready. Expect things to get much worse in the near future and far worse after that. No matter what we do we will continue to play into this finale due to our inescapable primate nature. Enjoy what little you can while it’s still there.